Not surprisingly, the U.S. Supreme Court seems to be saving the worst for last as it releases its decisions for the 2014 term. A ruling on challenges to bans on homosexual "marriage" in Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan, and Kentucky was not among the decisions handed down on Monday, June 22, and while the Court may hand down further decisions later this week, at this point it's likely that this particular decision won't see the light of day until June 29 (or possibly even July 6, should the Court run long again this year).
The decision will be largely anticlimactic; the only people who even pretend to believe that the Court will rule in favor of state bans are political operatives trying to raise money. Then there are those who agree that the Court will strike down such bans, but hope that the decision will be 5-4. They may be wrong as well. As I explained all the way back in the January 2005 issue of Chronicles ("Bleeding Red, Feeling Blue"), the battle against gay "marriage" was lost when the Bush administration, instead of removing the power to decide such cases from the federal courts (see Aaron D. Wolf's "SSM: Yawning at SCOTUS" for the background on how that could have been done), chose to use opposition to gay "marriage" as a tool to get votes in the 2004 election.
The best-case scenario for now is what I outlined over 11 years ago: States won't be required to perform gay "marriages," but they will be forced, under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, to recognize gay "marriages" contracted in other states. Should the Court decide that way, however, the decision is more likely to be 6-3, 7-2, or even 8-1, and opponents of gay "marriage" are going to be surprised to see some of their favorite justices in the majority.
Scott P. Richert is editor at large for Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and Publisher for Our Sunday Visitor. He holds an M.A. in political theory from the Catholic University of America. He has been published in, among others, The Family in America, This World, and Humanitas. He is the Catholicism Expert for About.com.